OCC Collaborates With NOAA to Release Environmental Data


The Open Cloud Consortium is very pleased to announce a collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to help release their vast stores of environmental data to the general public.

The OCC joins Amazon Web Services, Google, IBM, and Microsoft as anchors for data alliances established through Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs). Each data alliance will implement solutions to create ecosystems that foster growth and discovery through the distribution of this wealth of open data.

The OCC will leverage existing partnerships in the research, nonprofit, and commercial community, along with our pioneering experience building, managing, and curating data commons and their surrounding ecosystems in order to implement the government's vision.

From NOAA's Annoucement:

NOAA gathers over 20 terabytes of data every day – more than twice the data of the entire printed collection of the United States Library of Congress. This environmental intelligence comes from a wide variety of sources, including Doppler radar systems, weather satellites, buoy networks and stations, tide gauges, real-time weather stations, as well as ships and aircraft. However, right now only a small percentage of this valuable data is easily accessible to the public. The demand for this data has increased, and it is imperative to find ways to effectively and efficiently distribute this data to decision makers and industries.

OCC Founder, Dr. Grossman as quoted in the NOAA announcement:

"Ease of access to the wealth of climate, weather, and environmental data NOAA is making available will have an enormous impact on researchers across many disciplines. The purpose of the Open Cloud Consortium (OCC) collaboration with the NOAA is to make finding and accessing this data easier for the academic, non-profit, and research communities, to enable scientific analysis and to drive discovery," said Dr. Robert Grossman, director of the Open Cloud Consortium.

To learn more about the initiative visit NOAA's Data Alliance site.

To see NOAA's Press release visit the Commerce.gov site.

To find out how to get involved with OCC's alliance contact noaa.crada at opencloudconsortium.org.

OCC Featured in Campus Technology


The Open Cloud Consortium is featured in an article in Campus Technology that showcases our efforts to provide the research community with the tools they need for discovery.

The full piece by David Raths can be found here.

"We started before the current interest at NSF and other funding agencies in big data and data science," said [Dr. Robert] Grossman, who is a professor in the division of biological sciences at the University of Chicago (IL). "There just wasn't an interest in data-intensive science or big data or supporting data repositories at scale."

The OCC's foundational approach to Data Commons:

OCC is based on the idea of a "data commons," which Grossman described as a collection of scientific data either within a discipline or across disciplines. "The idea is that co-locating compute over that data allows for discovery that might not be possible if you were just looking at your own data set," he said. One of the motivations for creating OCC was to make it easier to create commons of data that would support discovery.

The OCC's support of partner infrastructure:

OCC's evolving role may be of keen interest to campus IT leadership, Grossman said. If a campus does not want to bring up its own dedicated science cloud to support the long-term maintenance of infrastructure to provide access to data, then it could buy in for a period of time to a third-party infrastructure. "And as a not-for-profit, we are one of the options out there for universities that want to participate but that don't necessarily have their own infrastructure for sharing data. This is something universities are thinking about and it is an option we provide."

OSDC PIRE Fellowship Deadline Extended


The application deadline for OSDC Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) fellowships has been extended to March 31st. Interested graduate students, senior undergrads, postdocs, or early career faculty actively conducting research in a field involving computing or a data intensive science should apply now.

The goal of OSDC PIRE is to provide training that makes it easier for scientists to use cloud computing for their data intensive researh. OSDC PIRE fellowships are fully-funded summer fellowships to work abroad and gain hands-on experience with large datasets, data intensive projects, cloud computing, and other large scale computing environments.

OSDC PIRE workshops bring together a diverse group of researchers to think about the challenges and solutions that are facing the data intensitve research community. The workshops provide opportunities to create practical applications that will improve the communities' research efficacy. Says former PIRE Fellow and lead software developer for the OSDC Tukey Web Portal, Matt Greenway:

“The idea to leverage Horizon came from an OSDC PIRE workshop in Edinburgh. Horizon is a nice interface that a lot of work has gone into and we want Tukey to be able to use all of Horizon’s new features while adding features to Tukey that are unrelated to OpenStack.”

Previous fellows have successfully presented their OSDC PIRE research in peer-reviewed journals and conferences such as IEEE’s Supercomputing conference.

Learn more about OSDC PIRE. Apply for an OSDC PIRE Fellowship.

OCC Announced as a Matter Member


Today we're pleased to announce that the OCC has joined the Matter community. OCC staff will have a dedicated workspace in the Matter ecosystem in Chicago's historic Merchandise Mart.

"Matter, which opened Monday, aims to grow companies through mentorship, networking opportunities, partnerships and affordable workspace. Early this week, the incubator announced a partnership with the American Medical Association, which will include an Interaction Studio where entrepreneurs and physicians will collaborate and test new technologies, services and products."

Learn more about Matter here.

OSDC Milestone - Over 700 Resource Allocations Granted


Today we're proud to announce another Open Science Data Cloud milestone. Over 700 resource allocations have been granted to researchers to use the OSDC and the list of publications that utilized the OSDC continues to grow.

As demand for resources to store, share, and analyze terabyte and petabyte scale datasets continues to grow, so too does the OSDC ecosystem. Individuals granted OSDC resource allocations can house and share their own scientific data, access datasets in our Public Data Commons directly mounted to their virtual machines, build and share customized virtual machines with tools for data analysis, and then perform the analysis to answer their research questions. The OSDC is a one-stop shop for making scientific research faster and easier.

The OSDC continues to support a number of large projects from OCC working groups and OCC members. Remaining available resources are allocated to other applicants based on merit.

Learn more about the OSDC resource allocation process or apply for your own resource allocation.

Genomics Data Commons @ University of Chicago Announced


The University of Chicago announced today their collaboration with the National Cancer Institute to establish the Genomic Data Commons.

The Genomic Data Commons project will help researchers around the country assess genetic information from more than 10,000 cancer patients, which could be used to develop more effective treatments, said Robert Grossman, a professor of medicine at University of Chicago who is directing the project.

The establishment of the NCI Genomic Data Commons (GDC) will expand access for scientists around the country, speeding up research and, in turn, leading to faster discoveries for patients. The GDC will provide an interactive system for researchers, making the data easier to use; it also will provide resources to facilitate the identification of subtypes of cancer as well as potential therapeutic targets.

"The Genomic Data Commons has the potential to transform the study of cancer at all scales," said Robert Grossman, PhD., director of the GDC project and professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Chicago. "It supplies the data so that any researcher can test their ideas, from comprehensive 'big-data' studies to genetic comparisons of individual tumors to identify the best potential therapies for a single patient."

OCC and CDIS at SC14


We’re gearing up for another successful Super Computing conference. This year's conference will be in New Orleans and the OCC and Center for Data Intensive Science will have a research booth in the exhibition hall. Throughout the conference, we'll be giving a variety of presentations on our many projects. Please see the full schedule below or here.

If you're in New Orleans and attending the conference please stop by the booth, say hi, and learn more about how we've been making research with substantial computing and storage needs easier and more accessible for scientists across the globe. We'll be giving away free gourmet coffee and OSDC embossed Belgian chocolates.


Please join us at any of the following presentations to learn more about CDIS and OCC activities. Unless otherwise noted, presentations will take place at Exhibition Booth #1639.


CliQr Joins the OCC


We’re proud to announce that CliQr is now a member of the Open Cloud Consortium!

As a member of the OCC, CliQr will contribute their expertise in APIs to the Biomedical Commons Cloud (BCC) working group. As the BCC ecosystem matures, researchers analyzing genomic data, EMRs, medical images, and other PHI data will enjoy CliQr's solutions to manage and govern their pipelines and workflow across resources.

Learn more about how your organization can become a member of the OCC here.

OSDC Milestone - Retiring the OSDC Adler Resource


Today we're proud to announce a major milestone in the Open Science Data Cloud's history. For the first time, we're retiring an OSDC user resource after many years of service.

OSDC Adler served the general science and bioinformatics communities for many years and was instrumental to a number of researchers exploring the modENCODE and ENCODE datasets. It was the initial home for Project Matsu, a collaboration between NASA and the Open Cloud Consortium to develop open source technology for cloud-based processing of satellite imagery to support the earth sciences.

The Adler resource was paid for with generous support from the Moore Foundation and continuously maintained with support from our other generous sponsors. OSDC Adler users had access to 312 cores and approximately 1PB of raw storage. Adler's software stack included Eucalyptus / Openstack. Active researchers on OSDC Adler were provided allocations on the OSDC Sullivan public resource to continue their research.

With lifespans for intensively used computing hardware generally estimated to be between three and four years, OSDC Adler served faithfully for nearly 5 years. The Adler hardware will continue to be used internally by the OSDC team for testing and development.

You can learn more about available OSDC resources here.

What is the OSDC?


We've recently finished a short video to help describe the services provided by the Open Science Data Cloud and the need that drives our interest in providing this service.

If you're new to the OSDC ecosystem or just want to learn more about what the OSDC offers offers, watch the video here.

Interested researchers can apply for an OSDC resource allocation here.

Big data is important to transforming research and the OCC is giving away a limited number of Discovery Awards to encourage scientists to experiment with developing novel technology for analyzing big data. We also think it’s important to encourage use of big data in the business community and are giving away a limited number of Innovation Awards.

Both awards will give users free computing resources on the Open Science Data Cloud.

Our Discovery Awards (for scientific research) are for 50,000 OSDC core hours and are available to selected scientists and researchers. OCC Innovation Awards (for businesses) are for 30,000 OSDC core hours. We especially encourage small businesses to apply.

To learn more or to apply for a Discovery or Innovation Award, first apply for an OSDC resource allocation, then send an email noting your application and a short paragraph describing what you’d like to do with the core hours awarded to info@opencloudconsortium.org.

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